Enormous meteor crater may have been discovered below ice in Greenland

What's thought to be a massive meteorite crater has been discovered below the Earth's ice sheets in Greenland by NASA.

In a statement on Wednesday, NASA confirmed a 35.4km wide crater, believed to have been created by a meteorite impact, had been found in Greenland.

If the crater is confirmed as an impact crater, it would be the 22nd largest of its kind and only the second ever found below the Earth's ice sheets, after another was found below the Hiawatha Glacier in northwest Greenland in November.

NASA, however, does not believe the two impact craters were formed at the same time, despite only being 183km apart. The ice concealing the crater is believed to be 79,000 years old.

Scientists previously believed all impact craters in Greenland and Antarctica would have been destroyed by eroding ice, but Joe MacGregor, a NASA glaciologist, said the Hiawatha crater had proved more may be out there.

"We've surveyed the Earth in many different ways, from land, air and space  it's exciting that discoveries like these are still possible," said Mr MacGregor.

He studied radar images mapping the typography of bedrock beneath the ice and found several "distinctive features of a complex impact crater" including a flat, bowl-shaped depression in the rock.

"The only other circular structure that might approach this size would be a collapsed volcanic caldera," Mr MacGregor said, although any evidence of volcanic activity in Greenland was hundreds of kilometres away.